52 Week Lolita Topic Challenge : How I First Found Out About Lolita

Today’s post from the 52 Week Lolita Topic Challenge is 10. How I first found out about Lolita. 

I used to do pixel art for a dress up doll website when I was younger. We took requests, and one of the requests we got was for lolita clothing, and so I started looking online for examples to use for artwork. I’m not 100% sure how exactly I ended up going from just admiring the fashion and drawing it really badly to actually being interested in it. I remember after I had gotten my first actual job after college I ran into two sites which had lolita clothing that wasn’t hundreds of dollars. One was the infamous Milanoo and the other was Bodyline. At the time, Milanoo was still stealing stock images, and I knew very little about lolita so I didn’t know that the images were actually stolen.

On milanoo I fell in love with this:

AP Stock Photo Stolen by Milanoo

“Cotton Red Sleeveless Front Lace Tie Sweet Lolita Top and Lace Skirt” Also known as Angelic Pretty’s “Pretty Bustier & Skirt Set” from 2008

And on Bodyline, I fell in love with the Candy Skirt. I actually liked it better in pink, but I had decided that getting it in blue was more likely to match with the bunny set which seemed like a very good deal.

                Bodyline Candy Skirt

After waffling back and forth, I ended up buying some things from Bodyline (mostly because it seemed like a better deal; I could get a dress and a blouse and a skirt and a petticoat for the same price as the milanoo set):
Bodyline Bunny Set   Bodyline Candy Skirtpan013-2

If I remember correctly, the skirt cost me $13, the petticoat (I can’t remember which one I got. I have Yellow, Sax and Dark Pink because I later bought more because it wasn’t fluffy enough alone) was $11, and I want to say the bunny dress set was either $25 or $31? So for under $60, I got two basic coords that needed only bags/shoes and leg wear. Unfortunately, the blouse looked absolutely awful on me, the detachable sleeves were like tents on my arms, and the bow was like helicopter propellers. I tried. It didn’t come out that well, but, at the end of the day, I hadn’t spent a ton so I wasn’t as horribly upset about things as I think I would have been if I’d spent over $100 for something that didn’t suit me.

I later went back to bodyline and bought a yellow high waist skirt, and a blouse with bunny ears in white. Then, from Quitieland I bought a sax star shaped purse and sax an*tai*na shoes.

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The shoes from an*tai*na actually were terrible, and I paid waaay too much for them when all was said and done, but I had a few pieces I could mix and match. I made myself some accessories, added some tights and knee socks from target and I wore these pieces occasionally around the house for a while.

Later I went to Otakon, though I was too shy to really meet any of the other lolita there. And sometime in the year following that I started buying second hand pieces from EGL Comm Sales. My first pieces of “brand” were bought the same week; two Angelic Pretty Skirts. The first was “Strawberry Picking” and the second was a gingham one.

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I made the terribly extravagant purchase of a pair of red x white bodyline shoes (red shoes! How much wear would I really ever get out of red shoes! Oh if only I had known….) and a strawberry shaped purse. Shortly after that I started bidding on items on mbok and Y!J auctions. I’m pretty sure I just bid on everything and anything that I thought might remotely fit me and was under $100. I ended up with a ton of main pieces really fast, but I didn’t really love most of them. In the end, I ended up selling most of them off a few years later. I also picked up some items from Taobao, though, most of those ended up getting sold as well.

It wasn’t until a good year or two after I started buying brand second hand that I actually went to my first meet up and joined my local community.

And I didn’t buy any main pieces new that weren’t on sale at all until Christmastime in 2012 when I caved and bought Toy March in Wine. I got the blouse, headbow and socks too, and I remember thinking it was super extravagant at the time. I still love that dress. After that, my buying habits changed a lot. I started buying more AP prints new (though I still bought a lot second hand too)

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All-in-all, I think it’s interesting how my perceptions of what is and isn’t extravagant in lolita changed over the years. There were a few years where I’d buy 2 dresses per month (some new, some used) and I kept a lot of them for years. I’ve cut back my spending a lot over the last year; I’ve only bought one dress this year: Juliette et Justine’s Le Premier Cri, which hasn’t even come in yet, despite it being bought in February.

Some things have changed a lot over the years; when I started out, my coordinates were fairly simple, then they moved into decololi, and now, as I get older and more tired, they are sliding back to being more simple. One thing, however, has remained constant; I absolutely adore wearing red, even if it is a bit impractical.

 

52 Week Lolita Topic Challenge : My Wardrobe Turnover

Today’s post from the increasingly poorly named (considering I started in 2013) 52 Week Lolita Topic Challenge is 5. My wardrobe turnover.

First of all for anyone who is not familiar with the term turnover, it typically refers to the rate at which people or products leave a job or store and are replaced. It can also refer to a delicious pastry, and I really wish that is what this was referring to, because I adore cherry turnovers. But, alas, no, the topic of the day is the rate at which things leave my wardrobe and are replaced by other things.

Right now, there are roughly 80 dresses and skirts in my lolita closet, not including things like underskirts, or things I’m planning on selling (I can’t count socks, blouses, bags, etc or I’d go insane). And just by glancing over a few folders of images of things I’ve sold/planned on selling, I can safely estimate that I’ve sold another 70 dresses and skirts. So over the course of being a lolita, I’ve owned about 150 items, and I’ve sold off just shy of half of them. Some people cycle through things, wear them, sell them. I’m not one of those people. Once something is in my wardrobe it only exits for a couple reasons.

  1. It doesn’t fit and I don’t care to alter it.
  2. It isn’t something I strongly liked in the first place (either something from a lucky pack, or something I bought on an impulse, typically)
  3. I’m replacing it with a cut/color of the same thing I liked better.

I’m really bad with time, but I sat down and did some checks and I think I bought my first dress in 2009 (but it might have been 2008; I’m not 100% sure anymore). So, that makes five years of wearing the style. The first year, I’m 90% sure I only owned bodyline main pieces.
My wardrobe looked a little like this:
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Of those things, I sold the strawberry bag this past year (because I had an Innocent World one, plus both an AP and a Baby bag in red, and I didn’t wear it much any more; it’s actually a pretty nice bag, honestly), and I sold the high waist skirt which I had in yellow and haven’t worn since the year I bought it. I’ve sold off the blouse that went with the gingham bunny set, but I kept the JSK for nostalgia. The sax shoes have been repainted a brighter blue, the red shoes are so scuffed I had to paint over the worst of the marks before rufflecon this year, and the white bunny eared blouse got stained sort of pink in the wash a bit ago. The sax star bag I still have, and like, but I think it’s an AP replica and I’m not sure how I feel about it these days. I still have the bodyline candy print skirt, and I still love it, though I haven’t worn it in quite some time.

I don’t have a record of what my wardrobe looked like again until the end of 2011. By then my wardrobe had swelled to about 45 dresses and skirts. 18 of them were red/pink, 9 were sax/navy, 8 were brown, 6 were black and the rest were one-offs in other colors. I sold my first few things in 2011; an AP lucky pack JSK that didn’t fit, and quite a few things from the first few innocent world lucky packs I’d bought.

From 2009-2011 the only reason I sold anything was because it didn’t fit, and I was buying cheap stuff or lucky pack stuff, so I accumulated a lot of beige and rose pink that didn’t suit me at all.

In 2012 I sold nothing, and I bought a lot. My wardrobe swelled up to about 75 dresses/skirts, not counting things I’d put aside to sell (at least 25 items). I was trying to take sales photos, but I was slow about it and I bought things faster than I got the info together for sales listings.

By mid 2013, I realized I needed to just stop, list a chunk of stuff, and get it sold, and not keep trying to list everything I wanted to sell at once. I sold a grand total of 5 things.

At the beginning of 2014, my wardrobe had grown to over 100 dresses/skirts, not counting another 40-some I’d put aside to sell. Late in the spring of 2014, I realize I needed help getting it all out the door, and sat down with my girlfriend Cinnabunnylol, and she offered to help me by shipping out my sales items if I listed them. So, I started a huge closet purge, which is actually still going on. I took almost everything beige, mint, yellow or dusty pink from my closet and we put it up for sale. Along with 90% of the main pieces I’d gotten on taobao, almost all my Meta, almost all my Baby the Stars Shine bright, all the blouses I had that were too small, 2/3 of my skirts (they don’t really flatter me), and some things I had in multiple cuts/colorways.

We establish a LM account as a consignment shop and made close to 100 listings. So far, we’ve sold 78 items there, and then another 10-15 were sold at Rufflecon, and a good handful were sold at Anime Boston.

We just moved, and in the spare room there is a rack, which is still full of items to sell, but it’s a much smaller number of things than it was when I started. (Now that that’s all over, hopefully I’ll have more time to write).

I started out with a wardrobe that was bright sax and red sweet lolita, which, in the middle got a bit more pastel sweet and a bit of pastel classic and darker classic.

Now, it’s mostly bright colored sweet lolita with a lot of red still, and there is more richly colored classic. It’s getting big again, and I’ll probably sell off a few of the things in there, but I think I’ve reach a point where I’ve solidified my personal style.

closet

If we average it out, that’s 150 dresses/skirts over 5 years, at a buy rate of 30 dresses/skirts per year and a sell rate of ~7 for dresses/skirts. With another 7 per year still waiting to be sold. Ouch. I better start relisting things on lacemarket again soon.

 

 

52 Week Lolita Topic Challenge : Favorite thing to put on my head

Today’s post from the 52 Week Lolita Topic Challenge is 4. Favorite thing to put on my head. Which, is pretty easy to answer, because the answer is…. everything, of course!

But on a more serious note, I do have some favorite head accessory looks. First of all, I love doing off-set double standing headbows with sweet.

bows1            bows2

I also really enjoy doing decololi looks with a ton of bows. My basic rules for the bows is that they should all be relatively the same size (though I’ll use multiple sizes, I won’t pick drastically different sized ones), that they should have a matte finish (shiny bows look cheap when you have a lot of them, IMHO), and that every color I use should be in the print of the garment I’m wearing. I then try to pair them in groups of two or three, usually mixing and matching the way that they clip in so that a barrette style one is below every slide one (the slide ones fall out easier). I never put two of the same color against each other, try to pick a bigger and a smaller one, and try to off set them from each other. I also try to change up what two colors I’ve put side by side and balance the colors on either side of my head.

bows4               bows3

Lastly, I really like the floral hairpieces that I have from sweet mildred. They are great for classic and I have a bunch of them, though I haven’t worn all of them yet (and I don’t have a lot of great pictures of me in the ones I have worn, unfortunately). I love that they work well by themselves, but also can have other floral clips clipped in near them for an even more OTT look.

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